Drive your Rent to Own Car from Pattaya to Kanchanaburi
One of my favourite things to do in my own car is to hit the road for a killer road trip. I grew up driving and few things bring back memories as good as an old fashioned road trip. When I was a kid we still played games in the car like license plate bingo, slug bug, and “I spy”. In addition to games my mom would lead sing alongs, sometimes to her favourite folk musicians, sometimes to songs I swear she made up, and sometimes to the radio. This horrified me as a child but now I am so grateful she did it, and I revel doing it to my own kids.
Family vacations were something else when done by car. Share that small of a space with anyone for any length of time and you will know exactly what I am talking about. These are the things memories are made from. So without further ado, get your bags packed, get some snacks in the cooler, and let’s load up the car and hit the road from Pattaya to Kanchanaburi.
The Drive to Kanchanaburi
The drive to Kanchanaburi from Pattaya is the perfect length for a road trip in my opinion. It is just under 300 km and takes about 4 hours of driving time, depending on traffic. Obviously if one tries to leave on a Sunday evening from Pattaya toward Bangkok it will add to the drive time, however for the most part you can do this trip in a little over 4 hours with your pit stops. It is also an ideal trip for a stop off in Bangkok either coming or going to pick up those items that are only available in such a large city. Bangkok is the halfway point during the trip.
Things to see and do while Visiting Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi is a lovely town located on river at the base of some beautiful mountains. The province is known for several things. The Tiger Temple, the plethora of waterfalls, and the Bridge Over the River Kwai made famous by the book and movie with the same name.
One of the most famous set of falls in all of Thailand is Erawan falls. These falls have seven levels and are located about 40 minutes outside the town of Kanchanaburi. Getting up early and heading to the falls is the ideal way to see Kanchanaburi. Most of the levels are easily accessible on the frequented footpaths, however getting to the very top of the falls can be a bit challenging.
Many of the pools are suitable for swimming and the water is refreshingly cool as it is mountain run off. During the months like April where the beach waters near Pattaya can feel more like bath water the cool waters of the mountain falls will give a much needed respite to the heat. Although the air in Kanchanaburi will be as hot or hotter than Pattaya the contrast of the water will definitely wake you up.
Along the way you may come across wineries with local wine, check them out, my favourite is the lychee wine, and the coconut wine. My friend Grace loves the Mango. Many of the shops offer free tastings, the bottles are very reasonable, and if you can get behind sweet wine there are some very unique fun options.
The Bridge over the River Kwai
The Bridge over the River Kwai was constructed by the Japanese during the second World War. It is part of the railway meant to transport cargo daily to India for the planned attack there. Thousands of laborers lost their lives during the construction of the railway, so many it has earned the nickname Death Railway. The bridge draws many tourists annually as does the nearby POW cemetery. There is a lot of history and a lot of energy surrounding the area. A definite must see while you are visiting Kanchanaburi.
Tigers and other Wildlife
The Safari Park is Kanchanaburi is a sanctuary for animals that have been abandoned. The couple that run it now first visited in 2012 as tourists. They were so appalled at the conditions that they worked with the current owner to make improvements and begin the volunteer program. Now three years later, the park is thriving, the animals are doing leaps and bounds better, and there are volunteer opportunities for as little as half a day. Work one on one with your favourite type of animal.
Where to stay in Kanchanaburi
Thai Style Accommodation
In order to get a taste for how the locals live there is a fabulous little guesthouse right on the river. The Rainbow Lodge Homestay is a quaint little resort with private cabins overlooking the river, with lush garden grounds, and a great little restaurant serving both Thai and Western favourites. This is not the nicest place, but it is very Thai and very reasonable (around 500 baht per night). You can contact the resort directly at 081 763 0116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the other side of the spectrum there is luxury accommodation available at places like the Float House River Kwai Resort. Rooms can go for upwards of 5000 baht per night and are five star all the way. These types of rooms would be considered obscenely cheap if they were anywhere else in the world. What you get for the small price tag is nothing short of amazing, however I like the camping feeling of the little hippie style Homestay especially in a place like Kanchanaburi.
There are both styles and a lot in between.
The Drive back to Pattaya from Kanchanaburi
On the way back from your adventures in Kanchanaburi the drive will take 4 - 5 hours, unless you try it on a Friday night, then you can expect a lot more time spent in the car.